JPMorgan In Talks To Buy Brazil’s Gávea

Jun 21 2010 | 11:47am ET

Given all of the activity of recent days, one could be forgiven for forgetting that Congress may yet bar banks from the alternative investments industry.

The latest firm to thumb its nose at the Volcker rule—which would ban banks from owning, investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds—is the bank with the most to lose, JPMorgan Chase. The New York-based firm is in talks with Brazilian hedge fund manager Gávea Investimentos.

According to the Financial Times, those discussions are at an advanced stage, but no deal has yet been reached. Among the things that could yet sink an agreement is the Volcker rule: JPMorgan is reportedly waiting to find out just how stringent the new financial regulations will be before agreeing to buy Gávea.

Still, the talks represent a more serious potential deal than that reportedly discussed by Highbridge Capital Management, which is owned by JPMorgan, and Gávea earlier this year. Under that sketchy proposal, Highbridge would take an undisclosed stake in the firm, but Gávea would retain its own management team and “autonomy.”

Gávea was founded in 2003 by former Armínio Fraga. It has about US$5.3 billion in assets and 109 employees in two offices, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

JPMorgan already boasts some US$30 billion in alternative investment assets under management, including more than US$20 billion at Highbridge.


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